THE EVOLUTION OF A FAMILY ROOM- 5 Years of changes and updates in a family room.

Our family room has gone through quite a few changes in the last 7 years! We literally made it over… and over… and over from the floor up! I’m not afraid to change things up and make mistakes and change my mind and rearrange things. I think I’ve made more changes in the family room than any other room in my home. So, take a stroll down memory lane with me to see the evolution of a family room!

Before we take my family room tour I want to tell you about this month’s READER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY… 


October’s giveaway is a DECORATING CONSULTATION with me! I’ll meet with you on skype or google hangout to view your biggest decorating problems. If you are not computer savvy you can send pictures! I will give you my best advice and create a mood board for you to reference. I’m so excited to connect with you! Good luck!

Let’s step back into late 2009 and here’s my family room… 

It’s sorta neutral and very boring! Lots of nice pieces of furniture but for the most part they do not work together and do not portray my personality… at all! This family room said nothing about who the people were who lived in it!

Not until I got serious about making this room into a place I love did it start to take form!  It went from this…


 To this! Now, this room is full of my personality and style!

THE EVOLUTION OF A FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!

Our home is celebrating its 21st birthday in December! And about 6 years ago we noticed that it was beginning to show it’s age! So we have taken one room at a time and gutted each one and made it over. It takes us a very long time to complete each room because we mostly do it ourselves! I think the family room is the makeover that I love the best. This room needed lots of help and I literally poured myself into it!

I think the family room is the makeover that I love the best. This room needed lots of help and I literally poured myself into it!

The first thing I did was to paint a pair of plain linen curtains already hanging in the family room with a big white print. The curtains looked so much better! But the room was still painfully boring!

THE EVOLUTION OF A FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!

The family room carpet was in the first wave of things to go… Bobby and I (and when I say Bobby and I… I mean Bobby) laid hardwood floors in the family room to match the rest of the house! I really loved this “shag” type carpet, but I was on a mission to have hardwoods in every room in my home!

We also resurfaced the green marble surround and hearth of the fireplace and replaced it with white washed brick. Then we painted the brass accents with oil rubbed bronze.

Christmas pictures are the only ones I could find with my marble fireplace surround! VERY 90’s!

THE EVOLUTION OF A FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!

The whole fireplace resurface cost under $500.00 and was so so worth it! It really updated the look of the family room!

THE EVOLUTION OF A FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!

Also during that time we painted the family room walls Sonnet by Benjamin Moore. This made such a huge difference! We also took down the gilded mirror above the mantel and added a large clock. I got this clock on clearance sale for $67.00 from Kohls. Score!

We also removed the scroll work around the shelves to make them look a little more updated.

I found chippy black shutters that I just loved but they were huge. Bobby retrofitted them to flank the clock and I painted the lamps to work with the rest of the updated decor! You can see what they looked like before in the Christmas picture above!

Rug one was introduced to the family room. This was such a nice rug… until a couple dogs decided the fringe would be a great “tug toy”! I could see this room starting to take shape…but still a little ho-hum!

THE EVOLUTION OF A FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!

It was during this time I added the baskets to the bookshelves. They looked much more organized! I’ve often thought about doing something different with the shelves but these just seem to work so well!

I painted the linen curtains that had been in the family room for several years...

The next thing that changed was the sofa. The greek key motif sofa was slipcovered and put into the upstairs sitting room. It was replaced with a great, comfy white slipcovered sofa I got as a gift for being Lamps Plus BLOG OF THE YEAR.


Next, we addressed the brown leather chairs. I love these chairs so so much. The leather is like butter, but they really did not do anything for the transforming family room. So, with much angst… they were slipcovered. It’s good to find a skilled slipcoverer in your area. It was so much less expensive to cover these chairs than to buy new ones.

THE EVOLUTION OF A FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!

We also added a more comfortable chair in a houndstooth pattern. It’s a recliner! Who knew!!!! I thought I’d never ever have a recliner in my home but this one from La-z-boy is so chic! Who knew?

I painted the linen curtains that had been in the family room for several years...

The buffet I had in the family room…

THE EVOLUTION OF A FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!

Was replaced with a fun farmhouse style curio. I saved a couple years to get it and I’m so glad I did!

I painted the linen curtains that had been in the family room for several years...

And added a chair next to it. And a tri of platters on either side of the farmhouse curio.

I painted the linen curtains that had been in the family room for several years...

Another sofa… long story! And a new coffee table and new curtains I made from Walmart sheers. 

I painted the linen curtains that had been in the family room for several years...

I painted the linen curtains that had been in the family room for several years...

The mirror above the mantel was painted with a chippy white finish.


FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!


spring-mantel-2016-white-and-chippy-stonegableblog-2Round accent table was replaced with a vintage painted desk…

FAMILY ROOM- How I found my family room style!

As I made each change I gained more momentum and confidence! This family room decor did not happen overnight and I made plenty of mistakes along the way, just look at all the pictures! But I learned more and more about decorating and about my style and decor personality.

This family room’s decor did not happen overnight and I made plenty of mistakes along the way!  But I learned more and more about decorating and about my style and decor personality.

My goal is not decorating perfection… it’s living in and loving a home that reflects me and my family!



Is my family room decor complete? Oh NO! Not at all! I still have several changes I want to make. I would love to replace the two windows in the family room with one large one to let in more light and beautiful farmland views.

But for now, most of my changes are seasonal! 

I painted the linen curtains that had been in the family room for several years...

How about you? Are the rooms in your home ever evolving? 

You might like to follow me on Pinterst and see what I’m finding to pin every day HERE.




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  1. What a journey, Yvonne! Beautiful

  2. Bonnie sohl says:

    Love the transformation!

  3. Diane Francis says:

    So inspirational!

  4. christianna knauss says:

    I love watching the evolution of your home! I wish I had a smidgen of your decorating talent! Your house is beautiful!

  5. Yvonne, you have definitely been on a journey with your updates…always beautiful!

  6. Looks great! You certainly have evolved in your taste, as all of us do who love our homes- that’s the fun part. I have the same marble fireplace surround, and I want to do it in brick or faux stone . Want to do a tutorial on how you did yours? I could use the help.

    1. We had the surround professionally done. We were too busy with painting the walls and laying hardwood floors!

  7. Beautiful! Do the lamps on the mantle light up or just for decoration? Where did you get your curio cabinet? Great improvements!

    1. Yes the lamps light up. We have an outlet on the mantel. The cabinet came from Wayfair. It’s part of the Paula Deen collection!

  8. genie steger says:

    I like the changes….My living room has gone from Humble Gold (SW)to Forest Light, a very pale pale light green. I have been trying to incorporate my husbands dark carmel (and comfortable) leather couches into my gold walls and shabby chic blue, with a stripped border, draperies (which I made and took 3 weekends)for 5 years and nothing worked, took down the draperies and made new pillow covers green and blue, paisley, and other coordinating finally looks pulled together! Changes are good!

  9. I want those sheer curtains with the burlap tops. So cute!

  10. Cindy Nimmo says:

    I love that you explain the evolution of your room. This is real life – we all change things up little by little. Thanks for sharing your room.

    1. Real life and lots of changes… and mistakes along the way! But I got better and better and much more confident as a decorator.

  11. Love, love, love! The transformation is inspiring. I have rooms to change I just need to take that first step!

  12. Beautiful transformation! Did you white wash the brick yourself? Trying o get the courage up to change our brown 1983 brick fireplace!

    1. We had the fireplace professionally resurfaced. We could have done it ourselves but we were so busy painting walls and laying flooring we let a professional do this. I would say… GO FOR IT!

  13. Yvonne, your family room expresses your style so beautifully! The perfect mix of everything you love, it is gracious and welcoming. This is how interiors should be, a mix of pieces and accents that tell a story, your story.

  14. Thanks for sharing!!

    I love making changes– my husband, not so much. So I am stuck with seasonal changes unless something literally falls apart. ?

  15. Nancy Moulton says:

    I’m afraid to make mistakes! I guess because of the money. Also my mom had a decorator come in and she kept what he did till she died 35 years later…no joking! Oh, she finally did take the plastic off the couch! Wish I could have that freedom because I haven’t gotten a decorator who has yet got me…my look.

    1. Being afraid to make a mistake make you STUCK!!!! Mistakes are a part of life. Most mistakes can be fixed or changed. Like paint. It’s not a huge investment! Don’t be afraid… embrace change and go for it!

  16. Carolyn George says:

    Love the subtle beauty……relaxing, peaceful ….. I’m thinking you used two different types of window treatment… the sheers with the top panel of color and then beigy/white print drapes….is that correct? Good to know that recliners that don’t look like recliners are available….I also said I’d never have a recliner but when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I changed my mind….I shopped around but didn’t find one like you have from Lazy Boy…….you are amazing and I look forward to these Emails each day. Thank you!

  17. Yours is the blog I read each morning with my coffee, Yvonne. If there’s not something new, I peruse older posts and always find something creative, charming and new to try. Thank you for that! I have many questions, but one has to do with slipcovers. I’m love the way they can economically change the look of a room and create a different palette to work with. Do you have yours professionally made? Have you ever done a diy and would you recommend the attempt for a novice like myself?

    1. Hi Sandi, I am a sewer but I have mine professionally made. I found a great local slipcoverer and she is very reasonable! So I have her do the work! There are tons of really great videos to teach you how to slipcover. I’m always up for learning something and doing it myself!

  18. Your room is beautiful! Love how you weave new and fresh decor with your “cool” houndstooth recliner. It is reassuring to hear how you approach your renovations and updates. Thank you!

  19. Where is the outlet located on your mantle? On the end or on the wood mantle itself, can you be more specific because we are building and would like one too! You are an inspiration to many, thank you!

    1. It is built into the shelf part of the mantel. I would have like to have two outlets at the base of the wall though.

  20. Vicki N. Martin says:

    I love your living room. You have given me ideas for my living space. I have always wanted a fireplace and I need the shelving. I love the idea of one bookshelf on each side of the fireplace. I can picture just having candles in the flux fireplace and our TV mounted above. I like your color scheme too. Thanks for all the ideas.

  21. I always love to see the progress over time! I think looking back at old pictures helps identify what’s right and what’s wrong with a favorite part of your family room is the fireplace bricks, I just love that look!

  22. Theresa Kleinschmidt says:

    Change is always good and you are my everyday inspiration ,I love the transformation of your family room. Have a great day.

  23. Aimee Kronberger says:

    Thank you Yvonne for taking us on your journey. Just lovely!!!

  24. I love the transformation , and enjoy your blog everyday. I get so many ideas for my own home. Thanks for sharing .

  25. What a treat to see these transformations! Thank you for sharing!

  26. I love every one of your updates to your family room. This truly exudes your personality and seems to say, “Come on in and let’s talk.” You never show us your mistakes. I doubt you have any. I wish I had your spirit of get an idea and get it done. I love your small bead trim molding below your crown molding. How many inches did you leave between the two. That really makes the crown molding pop!

  27. Your family room is fabulous. The decor is beautiful, but what I like the most about it is the open concept to the kitchen.

  28. I love seeing this! Yes, my rooms are ever evolving too. Just the other day I moved my large French armoire into my living room and put cottonwood wreaths on the doors and it refreshed the whole space for me. You can see it on my blog. I think I’m happiest with the results in my home when I make a choice and not just play it safe. For me, playing it safe leads to a dull room. My recent mantra is that every single thing in the room should be able to stand alone as something that has style and something I love.

    Thanks for showing how your home has evolved. I love these posts.


  29. Lila Housden says:

    I always love to see the “white” slipcovered furniture! I tried them for our two leather sofas in our family room but quickly found they didn’t work well having our children; five grandchildren (and their friends) in the house most every weekend; a set of twin boys (now 6) and one more grandson (now 7). When everyone arrives (most every weekend) with the various family dogs, including our two, we have as many as eight adults, eight children and six dogs!!

    By the time they ran out to check on the cows, the horses, and the mini piglets my white slipcovers were a mess (red clay mud is really hard to get out of anything white!)….but we wouldn’t have it any other way!!! So back to leather for our family!!!

    Now our first great grandson is on the way, so I’ll continue to enjoy your wonderful “white house” on your blog!

    Many blessings!


  30. I’m going to use your whitewashed fireplace as evidence for the case of painting our fireplace bricks white!

  31. Lila Housden says:

    I’ve been meaning to ask two questions:
    1. What size are the baskets you put all your toss pillows in when you need to take them off the sofas or beds?
    2. Are the stars you use at your family room mantle tin? Did you paint them?

    Thanks so much!


  32. Decorating is a process and you have really worked hard for such a pleasing look.

  33. What type of fabric did you use for the slipcovers…drop cloth etc. I really love the look…Thanks Sandy

    1. Hi Sandy. For the two chairs I used a “duck cloth”. A heavy cotton.

  34. Connie Dees says:

    I love the before picture as well as the now pictures.

  35. Hi Yvonne,

    I remember a few months back, you showed us a bathroom you and your husband were getting ready to remodel. Do you happen to have an update for us on that progress? I would love to see what you came up with!

    1. We are almost done!!!!! It has been half done for months. In the summer our gardens demand lots of attention so we just put the bathroom on hold until a cople weeks ago. It should be done by Thanksgiving. I’ll share as soon as it is done!

  36. I also love changing things around my home constantly. It just makes everything feel refreshed. You do such a great job in your home!

  37. Wow! What a change. I can see my family room in both of the pictures! I am working slowly on my room now. Paint is the first project that is almost done, but I will never get the carpeting out of there. Your husband is open to more ideas.
    Thanks for the pictures.

  38. Lori Lockwood says:

    What fun. I love the transition between your family room and kitchen

  39. GwenCondit says:

    I enjoyed the changes shown in a quick sweep that you spent years doing, fixing, changing, evolving. It’s fun to see the contrast!!! So my shiny brass on my fireplace can simply be rub n buffed? But yours looks so black!!! It’s odd I know but mine are two strips above and below. They reflect my decor on the tiny tile in front. So it is just a bit of light reflection where it’s rather dark. I’ve got two inexpensive projects that I will simply have to search for down at an unusual place in town where old wood can be found.
    So aggravating that when I chose paint painter rechose so I have a gold color. Last was a bit more orange gold. But it was so expensive and it all still looks clean. Our total kitchen and hallways and open great room have very high ceilings! But for now it shall be. I like certain areas very much. Other areas I’d like to someday change up. Like you said, it takes time!
    Thank you for sharing your lovely home. I’ve always liked your baskets on the shelves. They are eye catching!!!

    1. Gwen, don’t rub n buff your brass. I took mine off (easy to do) and sprayed them with HEAT RESISTANT oil-rubbed bronze spray paint!

  40. I love how you took your time to find just the right piece, or discovered a new idea that you could incorporate into your redecorating project. Everything turned out so well. The use of lots of white really brightens and opens up the room.

  41. Jane Beckenham says:

    i absolutely adore this room, it’s so full of texture and interest, and cozy to boot. Very inspirational. Thank you. I’d love to have the chance of being your winner. Fingers crossed LOL

    Have a lovely day

  42. I love ALL of the changes. So inviting

  43. I really like your changes and thank you for pointing out that they took a period of a few years to accomplish all of them. I think I would like to get a recliner to sit and read and watch movies.

  44. Love this post. Creating a home takes time for most people, mainly due to the expense. And, as many have mentioned our tastes evolve over time, and change as we age and depend on what stage of life we are currently in. We have been in our home 24 years, and plan to remain for many years to come. We are in the process of adding and refinishing our hardwood flooring (still in the quote stage), something we would not have done when we had a large dog and kids running throughout every day. Your home is a beautiful reflection of those who live there.

  45. Quite a journey! Isnt it funny how our style often changes over time? Your current look is light and refreshing. Thanks for sharing.

  46. We moved from NJ to Florida almost a year ago.Still rearranging,
    trying to make things fit and work,eventually some will go.Spray
    paint is my friend, so easy to change the look and reinvent items.
    Your family room is so light and airy with a lot of texture,very pretty.

  47. Love seeing the progress. I do like the leather chairs both ways…you can always remove the slipcovers if you are longing for that look once again. Do you see farmhouse decorating moving to darker furniture pieces?

    Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  48. Fran Braun says:

    Each step was fun to see. I want to sit down and read a good book in that room. You have a gift!

  49. Your blog is my absolute favorite! Made your Walmart panels today for my family room! Thank you for the inspiration!

  50. What a change over. I always loved those stencil curtains!! But the sheers are cute too. One comment..I know you need ads on your site but I was right in the middle of studying a room when the whole picture was replaced by a video about the marines! That’s a bit much really. Please rethink doing that to your readers. But thankfully I can press the reader view and not have any ads to contend with.
    Love it otherwise.

  51. I think your family looked great all through the process. It is so important to update and not get stuck in a rut. Thanks for all your inspiration!

  52. My rooms are constantly evolving! As a homemaker, making my home the coziest, most inviting, beautiful home it can be, is my mission. It doesn’t hurt that I love decorating! My project now is making my master bedroom suite, have a more farmhouse style.

  53. Laurie Warford says:

    I love Your blog, Yvonne! You are like our very best girlfriend, c’mon over, grab a cup a coffee and lets figure out how to fix the guestroom! You’re just fearless and that’s why I adore you so much! Your family room is beautiful!

  54. Marie in VA says:

    Was it expensive to have your fireplace brick painted?
    We have white builts in next to our red brick fireplace – would love to do the lighter color like you have. Hubby thinks it’s too much white- not me! Thanks for the inspiration to go for it!

  55. Kimberly Wolf says:

    So fun and helpful to the the stages of your transformation! Thank you.

  56. Well here it is April and I’m finally reading this blog entry! So helpful as I make plans to begin updating our home. Thought I’d start in the kitchen but find myself going back to the living room/family room over and over. You are soooo helpful! Thank you!